After a freshman series where he put up 8 goals and 21 assists in 41 games, it was wondered if Boo Nieves could take a step this season and maybe lead Michigan in scoring, maybe make the USA World Junior team and possibly leave college after two seasons. (Coming Down The Pipe)
In 34 games as a sophomore this season, Nieves had 3 goals and 19 assists.
Nieves moved from wing to center in his sophomore season and while he had a down statistical year and didn’t make Team USA, he is still a good prospect who has the tools to be a good NHL player. He has good playmaking skills, is a good skater and has tools that will translate to the NHL level. (Dobber)
Nieves missed the net as much as he hit it this past season and the Rangers are looking for him to be more of a “crash the net” type of player, where he has been succesful in the past. (Hockey’s Future)
Nieves did not attend the Rangers prospect camp in early July because he was taking classes at Michigan.
For more on Boo Nieves, CLICK HERE.
Nieves still has two-years of college eligibility left at the University of Michigan.
Boo Nieves played in two split squad games and three full squad games for Team USA at the WJC evaluation camp last week.
Chris Peters, at the United States of Hockey, writes that Nieves continued his streak of flashing his talent on one shift and then fading away on the next. Peters says that with the “size, speed and skill” that Nieves has, he should never be a player who fades away but adds that his potential is “off the charts.”
On his time at the USA camp, Boo told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that he enjoyed playing in different roles and showing his versatility, “I’m not used to penalty kill, I’m used to being a top-two line guy and power play guy but it was the opposite in this camp. I think I showed that I am versatile and can play anywhere.”
On his goal for this season, Boo says that he wants to be more consistent, a 200ft player, better defensively and put up more points.
For more on Boo Nieves, CLICK HERE.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that Nieves isn’t a lock to make the team but could earn a spot on Team USA with a substantial role at Michigan during the first half of the year/
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Chris Peters writes at the United States of Hockey that Boo Nieves lacks that little bit of “finish” that would make him a “deadly” player. Peters says that Boo needs more development and that “if he ever puts it all together he could be extremely productive.”
Peters adds that Boo is on the verge of being a “special prospect” and that his speed and skill are close to “high end” but he is struggling to finish.
Nieves told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that he tries to model his game after Joe Thornton, saying that Thornton is a big, fast center who can move the puck really well. Nieves said that he is a better puck mover than he is a finisher.
Over the past few days Boo has told Nick:
- He normally plays center at Michigan.
- His best assets are his speed, “speed kills and you can’t teach it” and his size “with my size, it’s pretty unstoppable when you are playing quick and big.”
- He is more offensive than defensive and his defensive game needs a bit of work
- He wants to improve his consistency, “Some shifts I am making plays while other shifts I am just blending in. I need to make a difference every single shift.”
- He doesn’t have a timetable for turning pro, “I am taking everything as it comes. It’s fun to go to NY and skate with those guys. I am trying to develop my game at Michigan and go from there.”
- When he speaks with the Rangers the topics are never too serious and they just have him focus on working hard.
- His coaches at Michigan are honest with him and have him working on things he needs to get better at. When talking about this he mentioned back checking and faceoffs.
In describing Boo’s game, Licalzi said, after the USA win over Finland on Thursday, that “Nieves was real good again, shows flashes of a ton of potential…great speed….seems like he’s going to fit in as another solid all around American born Ranger.”
For more on Boo, CLICK HERE.
Last night Team USA lost 4-0 to Sweden and as of right now, they are tied 3-3 with Finland.
Brady Skjei is not in the lineup for Team USA against Finland, he is believed to be closer to locking up a spot and they want to see some other players, but did play against Sweden and SNY’s Nick Licalzi said that he had a quiet game with a couple of mistakes.
Skjei spoke with Licalzi and said that Team USA just didn’t have the right energy last night. He also noted that he sees himself more as a shooter on the PP than a set up guy.
Chris Peters tweeted yesterday that Skjei has improved a lot since last year’s WJC camp and has been more decisive with his play.
Peters expanded at the United States of Hockey and said that he is making quicker decisions, unlike last year when he was hesitant, and is using his skating ability
Boo Nieves played last night and is playing today against Finland.
Last night, Licalzi said that when Boo saw consistent shifts he was effective. Today, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News tweeted that Nieves has been showing his speed not only on offense but on defense as well.
Peters said that Nieves showed off his speed and skill at various times last night. Today, Peters noted that Nieves was one of the standout players in the second period.
Earlier today it was announced that Boo Nieves had made the cut and would stick with Team USA at their evaluation camp for the World Juniors.
Team USA has three more games, Finland, Sweden and Canada, this week before wrapping up.
After a positive first game on Sunday, Nieves didn’t have much of an impact in Team USA’s 5-2 win over Finland.
SNY’s Nick Licalzi, who is broadcasting for Team USA, said that Nieves was basically invisible yesterday and had a “relatively quiet and lackluster game.”
At the United States of Hockey, last night, Chris Peters said that Nieves was in and out of visibility and while he has skill and speed that would help, he hasn’t shown it consistently.
While discussing the players who were cut and who are sticking around, Peters said that it was a good decision to keep Nieves and it will be interesting to see how he responds as the camp gets tougher. Peters said that the key for Nieves will be to bring consistency with his offensive game and show off his speed and skill.
USA Hockey has announced that Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves have survived the first round of cuts at the World Junior Evaluation camp.
USA Hockey had been using a split squad to play in the first two days of camp and these cuts were made to trim down the roster.
They have games against Canada, Finland and Sweden later this week.
USA Hockey opened up their World Junior Evaluation Camp yesterday and the split squad of Team USA lost both of their games.
USA White, featuring Boo Nieves, lost 4-2 to Sweden.
Nieves didn’t register on the score sheet but SNY’s Nick Licalzi, who is in Lake Placid to broadcast the WJC camp, said that Nieves played well and was one of the most effective forwards for Team USA.
He noted that his screening of the goalie led to Team USA’s first goal on the PP. Overall, Nick described Boo by saying he had a “very good game.”
Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report tweeted “Nieves’ explosive speed revealed on the PK as he stole puck at blue line- off to the races. 0-60 in about 1.5 strides.”
Corey Pronman tweeted that Nieves had a breakaway where he hit the post but other than that he “wasn’t really noticeable.”
Russ Bitely tweeted “USA has to be closely watching fmr Kent prep standout & Michigan Wolverine, Boo Nieves. Showing explosive speed. Could have big soph season”
For more on Boo, CLICK HERE.
USA Blue, featuring Brady Skjei, lost to Finland 6-5 in OT
Skjei also didn’t register on the score sheet but Nick said that he was very solid defensively, makes a good first pass and would fit in well with the current crop of Rangers defensemen.
Nick also praised Skjei’s skating ability.
Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey noted that Skjei was one of the better players for Team USA in their game.
For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.
12:55PM: Peters has more on Skjei at United States of Hockey and writes that he was a little inconsistent, but showed a lot of flashes of his defensive play as well as being more engaged in the offensive zone. He adds that Skjei has the strength and speed to be a top-four defenseman for Team USA and that as long as his decision making continues to improve, he will be on the team.
Sweden plays Team Blue and Finland plays Team White today.